MANAGEMENT: Leaders For The Digital Future
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Realising that the workplace is changing exponentially, the UCT Graduate School of Business has introduced a new Executive Education course for senior executives who need to lead their organisations into the digital future. The new programme is in-line with the schools renewed vision of relevance.
Calling on leaders in business, architects of change and curious collaborators, the course teaches approaches to engaging the attention of digitally distracted people in the market, companies and networks, as well as how to be productively present in the face of complexity, novelty and change. Today’s business context needs leaders who are agile thinkers, with a visionary response, to the changes brought about by communications technologies.
“We all know that digitisation of information and communication has given rise to changes in culture, changes in how people communicate, how they work. We now live in a super connected networked village,” said Dave Duarte, programme director and lecturer.
“Business leaders need to take a strategic approach to all digital communication and everything it brings: more mobility, social networking, marketing possibilities, business-client engagement, and improved organisational intelligence. And this strategy has to acknowledge that the future will be more digitised.”
According to the Telkom Trends IN Africa 2010 report released by World Wide Worx and Database 360, this year there will be an Internet Revolution in South Africa. South African Internet users are now nearing the 6 million mark with most of them accessing the net through their phones. The First National Bank Mobility 2011 research project found that 39% urban and 27% rural South Africans browse the Internet on their phones, and with the rise of the Smartphone and mobile email there is a suggestion that the workforce is becoming more nomadic.
The workplace is also becoming more vulnerable to information loss and even corporate espionage with the access to information improved by digital communication and with the spread of information almost immediate and far reaching. The digital information age is promising, but also menacing in that it can powerfully improve productivity but also hinder it; attention issues, health-related issues, transparency and ethical issues all matter now.
“Relegating digital communication culture to the corner of the company is no longer an option. If it doesn’t form an integral part of any organisation then that organisation is at risk. The corner has become the cornerstone,” said Duarte.
“However, to simply and thoughtlessly adopt technology is to create a fool’s paradise. If there is no harmony between the technology and those that use it and the work at hand, there could be trouble,” he said.
The programme is pitched at a practical level where delegates will benefit from a combination of hard skills, relevant knowledge, and valuable shifts in perspective.
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